No, it’s not the USS Enterprise, although it is pretty space-age for planet earth: it is what is believed to be the world’s largest solar ship, a huge catamaran recently unveiled by PlanetSolar in Kiel, Germany. It is slated to embark on a round-the-world trip in early 2011, according to The Alternative Consumer.
Designed by a team of international engineers, the boat will be powered by approximately 38,000 high-efficiency solar cells that are manufactured by the US-based company SunPower. The catamaran is expected to be the fastest solar boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean and the first to cross both the Pacific and Indian Oceans; stopovers include Hamburg, London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, where it will available for boarding and public display.
“We are excited that the solar-powered boat is now a reality,” said Raphael Domjan, CEO of PlanetSolar SA, in a statement. “As we embark on the next phase of this project, we look forward to our around-the-world trip, and are confident that SunPower’s proven technology will get us there.” All the solar cells featured on the boat were manufactured for the residential market, highlighting the potential of next generation solar technology.